Jennifer Peck was a founding staff member of the Partnership in 2001 and became its Executive Director in 2003. Since that time, she has developed and implemented initiatives to finance and build after school and summer learning programs, increase access to school meals and nutrition education programs, and support the development of community schools in the Bay Area’s lowest income communities. Under her leadership, the Partnership has brought more than $70 million in public funding to schools and their community partners, enabling thousands of low-income children access to critical programs and services.
Jennifer has built the Partnership into an influential policy development and advocacy organization that has improved the effectiveness of public funding for youth programs in low-income communities across California.
In December 2010, Jennifer was appointed Senior Policy Advisor and Transition Team Director for Tom Torlakson, the newly-elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In this role, Jennifer oversaw the transition planning process and ensured that the superintendent’s goals were articulated through policy and organizational development at the California Department of Education.
In 2006, as California prepared to launch Proposition 49’s substantial new investment in after school programs, Jennifer led the development and advocacy for state legislation that dramatically reformed the initiative and prioritized funding for schools in the lowest-income communities. For this work, then-State Senator Tom Torlakson named Jennifer “Woman of the Year” in 2008.
Jennifer created the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance, the state Legislative Task Force on Summer Enrichment, and she leads a coalition of California organizations advocating for new federal policies to improve the effectiveness of after school and summer learning programs.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Jennifer spent eight years as an appointee of President Bill Clinton at the U.S. Department of Education, where she supported implementation of numerous initiatives including student loan reform, School-to-Work, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Jennifer has a B.A. in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Colgate University.
Jennifer serves as Co-Chair of the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund. She is married to John Gioia, and they are parents to Christopher, 20, and Emilia, 8.